Politics - U.S.Thu Sep 26, 2013 - 7:58 pm EST
Senate unanimously confirms first openly gay federal appeals judge, one notch below Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 26, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Senate unanimously confirmed the United States’ first openly homosexual federal appeals judge in a 98-0 vote on Tuesday afternoon.
Todd Hughes had been nominated by President Barack Obama to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has national jurisdiction over cases involving international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, specific monetary claims against the U.S. government, federal personnel, veterans' benefits, and public safety officers' benefits claims.
Hughes, 46, previously served as Deputy Director in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice.
He is a former member of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Attorneys of Washington and the National LGBT Bar Association.
Obama’s White House celebrated the unanimous vote in a statement Tuesday, calling Hughes’ confirmation “historic” and “a first.”
“Like all of the president’s judicial nominees, Hughes has the intellect, experience, integrity, and temperament to be a successful judge. He is also gay,” boasted presidential counsel Kathryn Ruemmler.
Emphasizing that the Court of Appeals is “a level just below the Supreme Court,” Ruemmler wrote, “there has never been an openly gay judge to serve on a Court of Appeals until now. Hughes’s historic confirmation is yet another ‘first’ among President Obama’s federal judges.”
Ruemmler added, “We look forward to the ‘seconds’ and ‘thirds’ who will come after Todd Hughes and his fellow ‘firsts’ currently serving on our courts.”
The Obama administration has made a concerted effort to install openly practicing homosexuals in positions of power both in the U.S. and abroad.
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At the District Court level, there are currently seven homosexual judges nationwide, six of whom were appointed by Obama.
This year also saw a spate of other high-profile homosexual appointments, including four openly gay ambassadors, the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division at the Department of Justice, and a federal claims court judge.
According to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, since taking office in 2009, the Obama administration has appointed more than 250 open homosexuals to full-time and advisory positions in the executive branch – more than all previous presidential administrations combined.